Palm City Brewing
Owners: Ryan (Head Brewer) and Marianne Bowen
Where: 7887 Drew Circle Suite 130 Fort Myers Alico Commercial Park (2 miles west of I-75, exit 128)
When: Plan to open doors in spring 2017
What Got You Into Craft Beer?: Chimay Red was Ryan's first "WOW" moment in craft beer
Favorite Style of Beer to Drink:
With a slogan of "Pints in Paradise", I instantly think of the song "Toes" by Zac Brown Band...got my toes in the water, ass in the sand. Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today! Can't wait to leave my worries behind when these doors open up!
Eight-Foot Brewing Co.
Owners: Roger Phelps, Alexandra Phelps, and Andrew Green
Where: Downtown Ft. Myers (location not set yet) with plans to open a second location in East Tennessee
When: Doors open within the next six-eight months
What Got You Into Craft Beer?:
About the Business: With an academic background in art and an appreciation for the scientific method, Roger found that brewing beer seamlessly combined these two desires. "You are creating a living work of art" says Roger. Andrew attended business school at UVA and began home brewing while there. Each hobby then becomes a possible business venture which is now becoming a reality! Upon educating themselves on beer qualities and styles, they decided Eight-Foot Brewing's mission would be to educate the public in these areas as well. Roger sees this a lot in the wine industry, "When you go to a winery the vintner often provides a flight of their wine and talks about the terrior, grapes, and wood that go into creating it. They give you an idea of how it should taste and what it should taste like. There are so many breweries out there that don’t do that. They expect you to understand how it should taste..." and with a vision of focusing on sour, mixed-fermentation, and farmhouse-style beers, educating their patrons will be a necessity as these styles are still considered niche but are rapidly growing.
I've had the pleasure of trying a few of their offerings at some local beer festivals and all I can say is that I cannot wait for them to officially open their doors! They will be introducing a whole section of Florida to a few slowly emerging styles of beer that will knock their socks off.
Crazy Dingo Brewing Co.
Owners/Brewers: Stu Paasche & Dan Esperon
Where: Southern Fresh Farms - Penzance Boulevard in Ft. Myers
When: 1+ years
What Got You Into Craft Beer?: Brewing beer grew out of a passion for drinking beer and with both Stu and Dan having degrees in science led them to love the process of brewing beer.
Favorite Style/Beer to Drink:
About the Business: Stu and Dan have been brewing beer at home for over 10 years now and just recently decided to take their passion to the professional level. Their joy for brewing comes from their background in science. They both have degrees in science which allows them to truly enjoy the chemistry, microbiology, and technicality that goes into brewing beer. When approached by Southern Fresh Farms to team up and help take the farm to the next level, the guys jumped all over the opportunity as they wanted to do the same with brewing! They plan to have a small brewery on the farm with a beautiful beer garden. Small batches, local ingredients, and family oriented will be the theme of Crazy Dingo. With plans to grow many of the ingredients that will be used in the brewing process right on the farm, they say that there won't be a more local brewery in SWFL. Their recipe designs plan to highlight the history and culture of SWFL. They each have a favorite beer that they will be brewing. Dan's favorite is "Wahoo Blue" a blueberry wheat that has won a People's Choice Award while Stu's favorite is his "Night Cafe", a nutella-banana stout.
Though I have not had a chance to try any of Crazy Dingo's brews yet, you can bet that I am dying to get my hands on some soon! Breweries with a large outdoor space are not common place in SWFL and so I am very much looking forward to enjoying a nice crisp beer in their beer garden!
Fort Misery Cider Co.
Owners: Matt Cormier & Ian Thomas
Where: Northern Ft. Myers or possibly Cape Coral (nothing locked down yet)
When: Distribution by end of 2017 with tap room operating by spring 2018
What Got You Into Craft Beer/Cider?: Both Matt and Ian have been working around the craft beverage industry for quite some time. Between wine, cocktails, and beer it was only a matter of time before they stumbled into the world of craft ciders.
Favorite Style/Beer to Drink: Both prefer English-style dry ciders
Flagship Cider: No flagship yet but plan to get feed back from their festival tours.
About the Business: Ian has been a commercial brewer in the local area for a couple of years while Matt has been experimenting with ciders and beers for about a year. They have been making appearances at the local craft beer festivals to get their name and ciders to the public before opening their doors. I've had the pleasure of trying their ciders at both the ARC Festival and the Bonita Brew Fest and they were by far the most experimental ciders I've ever tried which included:
Southwest Florida Ale Trail
Owners: A.J. Gurgal & Zac Barson
Where: All of SWFL!
When: Launching February, 24 2017 at Riptide Brewing Co.
What Got You Into Craft Beer?:
1. Pick up your SWFL Ale Trail Passport at one of the participating breweries or directly from us at
2. Visit one of the participating breweries and purchase a pint, growler, crowler, or flight. Take out your passport and get it stamped. (Then enjoy the craft beer you purchased!)
3. Gather enough stamps to reach a prize level while enjoying a variety of craft beers from the
amazing breweries here in SWFL. Prizes can be obtained at participating breweries (Limited to
stock on hand and will be replenished on a regular basis)
4. Share your milestone with us on social media!
5. Start working towards the next prize level until you complete the trail.
If great beer alone wasn't enough motivation to get out to the breweries in SWFL, now you have incentives!
Oil Well Craft Beer
Owners: Matt & Danee Williams, Mark & Deeda DeLillo, and Jessica DeLillo
Where: 5334 Ave Maria Blvd, Ave Maria, FL 34142
When: OPEN NOW!
What Got You Into Craft Beer?: Matt's love for craft beer started about 10 years ago when he began getting bored with the bland American light lagers. It was when he had his first sip of Rogue Dead Guy Ale that he knew there was better beer to be had! After that he began buying Sam Adam's variety packs and any other beer that looked different from the adjunct-heavy macro beers that conquered the store shelves.
Favorite Style/Beer to Drink:
"Somewhere you can catch the game, meet up with buddies over a few craft beers, or fill a growler to enjoy from the comfort of your own couch. At Oil Well Craft Beer, you'll always find a great selection of craft beers and the finest bottled local brews & imports. With 20 taps on rotation, we have something for every beer lover."
Owner: Scott Melick
Where: 901 E. Industrial Circle Unit 1-3 Cape Coral, FL 33909
When: March 2017
What Got You Into Craft Beer: I've been drinking good craft beer before it was a thought and have been brewing beer at home for 28 years.
Flagship Beer: Though there is no plan to have a flagship beer Scott will be launching with a Hefeweizen.
Favorite Style/Beer to Drink: German Wheat Beers although it is hard to pick a favorite with all of the available beers.
About the Business: Scott has been wanting to open a brewery for the better part of two decades and has been cementing the plans over the last three years. Scott is living up to the saying "go big or go home" as he will be opening the largest brewery between Tampa and Miami! The 10,000 square-foot space in Cape Coral will house a 20-barrel brewing system and a tap room. Scotty's Bierwerks will not be serving food but will have plenty of space for food trucks to feed the hunger of his patrons. Scott plans to serve a large variety of beers of very high quality as well as offering a series of bottled Saisons only available at the tasting room.
Cape Coral's craft beer scene is expanding again and this time is making a huge leap in size! I'm very much looking forward to the opening of this new brewery in the coming months.